November is Manatee Awareness Month; but no matter what time of year it is, manatees deserve to be celebrated. These amazing creatures fulfill a unique niche by serving as indicator species for ecosystems across the United States. Because of their reliance on the health of their habitat, manatees often act as a signal of their environment’s well-being. NOAA photo by Michael Buchanan.
Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Secretary Salazar Appoints Members to the U.S.Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Committee
Policy Management and Budget
Members represent government, industry and public stakeholders
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today appointed 21 primary and 20 alternate members to an advisory committee that will guide and oversee implementation of the United States Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI). Convened under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the committee will serve as the initial USEITI Multi-Stakeholder Group and includes representatives from federal and state government agencies, companies and public stakeholders. The names of those appointed to the Committee can be found at the USEITI web site at: www.doi.gov/eiti.
“Today marks another significant step in USEITI implementation, and underscores the Administration's continued commitment to lead by example in promoting global transparency and accountability under the Open Government Partnership,” said Secretary Salazar, who serves as the senior U.S. official designated by the President in September 2011 to oversee USEITI implementation. “I look forward to working with this group in the new year as we work to forge open governments and institutions that are accountable to the people.”
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is a voluntary, global effort designed to increase transparency, strengthen the accountability of natural resource revenue reporting, and build public trust for the governance of these vital activities. Participating countries publicly disclose revenues received by the government for oil, gas, and mining development, while companies make corresponding disclosures regarding these same payments to the government, and both sets of data are reviewed and reconciled by a mutually agreed upon independent third party. Results are then released in a public report.
The design of each nation's EITI reporting requirements is country-specific and developed jointly by a Multi-Stakeholder Group comprised of members of the public, government, and companies through a multi-year, consensus-based process. The USEITI Advisory Committee will serve as the initial Multi-Stakeholder Group for USEITI implementation.